Barclays Bank of Kenya through its Enterprise and Supply Chain Development (ESD) unit has unveiled a digital solution that will allow SMEs that supply goods and services to corporate organisations to access funding.
Barclays Kenya is one of the first markets in the Absa family to roll out this program.
The entire process, from application to funding, can be completed within a short time, dramatically speeding up the experience for busy entrepreneurs.
“We have also developed a web-based platform that will transform ESD lending into a digital platform. We want to ensure that access to finance is easy and fast. All funding request for LPO financing & Invoice discounting will be received online. ” James Agin Corporate and Investment Banking Director, Barclays Bank of Kenya.
The solution, available to SMEs supplying goods and services to corporates, is the latest effort by the bank to make the process of loans more technology-friendly. This comes few months after the lender unveiled Timiza offering, which has since surpassed over 2.7 million customers in just five months as of July 2018.
“With this product, we are unlocking a funding solution for our SMEs and thus helping them to remain afloat and in business.” noted the bank’s Head of Enterprise and Supply Chain Development Karen Kiambi.
Already, the bank has brought on board a number of corporate partners who include; Safaricom, Allpack Industries part of the AKDNr, Nairobi Hospital, Gertrudes Children Hospital, Kenya Wines Agency Limited, Unilever, East African Breweries Ltd, among others.
According to Mr Agin, the bank only needs a company’s last six months bank account history and a contract with the client.
“We do not demand your audited financial statements as would ordinarily be the case!” he reiterated.
Additionally, the platform will not only offer unsecured loans to SME’s but will also act as a corporate platform to ease invoicing, build enterprises through financial skills, processes, technology, enterprise development, membership in the Barclays Business Club and access to markets.
“The next frontier for this programme is to create an online marketplace for suppliers, who by their profiling and positive credit rating, can market their products and services to other corporate organisations with ease. This has been implemented in South Africa with great success and we are planning to draw from this experience to introduce our own programme next year,” noted Mr Agin.